Johnny Clegg, the South African musician who defied apartheid by forming two highly successful biracial bands, died at his home in Johannesburg on July 16 after a long fight with cancer. Clegg's first band, Juluka, began in 1969 as a duo with [...]
There are times when, in the midst of a democratic struggle, an artist appears who expresses the aspirations and the anger of the people. The Sudanese rapper Ayman Mao is one such artist. His song “Dum” (“Blood”) is widely recognized as an anthem of [...]
Songs of Our Native Daughters
“An artist's duty is to reflect the times”. So said the celebrated African-American singer, pianist, and freedom fighter Nina Simone. Today, Our Native Daughters, a quartet of distinguished and versatile women [...]
John Jeremiah Sullivan's essay “Rhiannon Giddens and What Folk Means” is a must-read for people interested in the history of American folk music and its contemporary relevance. Giddens is a singer, banjoist, fiddler, and researcher from Greensboro, [...]
There are thousands of musicians who make public statements on crucial issues that affect working people; who compose music to educate and inspire progressive change; and who organize and perform at solidarity concerts both large and small.
Talib Kweli's solidarity with Palestine, Iran's imprisoned Rajabian brothers, SF Symphony protests anti-gay laws and Leonard Cohen.
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